I am sitting in a room

I lost my ipod, so I am starting to lead a life outside of the Jobsian iHegemon for now – transfering MP3s to the memory card in my N70.

I wiped it and didn’t have time to put new ones on (although the ‘random fill’ feature in the new music manager app is proving quite good) so, for better or for worse, I have been listening over and over to Strictly Kev and Paul Morley’s “Raiding the 20th Century – Words and Music edition”.

As a result I am sitting in a room, and William Burroughs is reverberating around in my head:

“When you cut into the present, the future leaks out”

Pass the chainsaw, would you?

Man versus robots and cities

Very much enjoyed the video for the new Chemical Brothers track "Believe", which portrays a man in the throws of some kind of mental breakdown, tormented by industrial robots – and the city.

Chems1

The robot’s lolloping indefatigability gives them an air of menace that is a mix of the raptor, the T1000 from T2, and the rage-victims of 28 days later.

Chems2

The use of depth-of-field in the shots and colour treatment of the video give it a claustrophobia and feeling of decay I, at least,  associate with the best, most terrifying British sci-fi of the 70s and 80s. Quatermass 4, Triffids, Pertwee in quarries, etc.

UNIT unfortunately doesn’t come to the rescue in this one.

Chems3

The denouement, after a terriffic chase sequence, sees our antihero’s final downfall not at the claw of the robots, but by the city – as reality (and a 70s op-art concrete carpark) falls apart in psychadelic shards.

The best mini-movie I’ve seen in a while.

More on the directors, Dom & Nic,  the process and details of the CGI here.

“Faster than the speed of anyone”

From his mailing-list, “bad signal”, Warren Ellis on creativity and recombinance:

“I still get asked with appalling regularity “where my ideas come from.”

Here’s the deal. I flood my poor ageing head with information. Any information. Lots of it. And I let it all slosh around in the back of my brain, in the part normal people use for remembering bills, thinking about sex and making appointments to wash the dishes.

Eventually, you get a critical mass of information. Datum 1 plugs into Datum 3 which connects to Datum 3 and Data 4 and 5 stick to it and you’ve got a chain reaction. A bunch of stuff knits together and lights up and you’ve got what’s called “an idea”.

And for that brief moment where it’s all flaring and welding together, you are Holy. You can’t be touched. Something impossible and brilliant has happened and suddenly you understand what it would be like if Einstein’s brain was placed into the body of a young tyrannosaur, stuffed full of amphetamines and suffused with Sex Radiation.

And… how it makes you feel:

“It’s ten past two in the morning, and I’m completely wired, caught up in the new thing, shivering and laughing and glowing in the dark. Just as well it’s the middle of the night. No-one would be safe from me right now. I could read their minds and take over their heartbeats with a glare.

Faster than the speed of anyone.

That’s how it works.”

» Warren Ellis: Bad Signal